As the hunting season comes to end on Sunday, hunters are getting ready to pick up their venison from the processors, but other hunters are donating their deer to help local families in need.
Jon Seipel is the owner of Gunderson’s processing in Mondovi and he has been putting in lots of extra hours during this season.
“It’s a busy, busy time of year,” Seipel said.
They are working on getting the deer in and meat out as efficient as possible.
“If there is not a back log, skinning a deer, cooling a deer, and processing takes a day,” Seipel said. With nearly 400 deer coming in so far this season, business is booming at Gunderson’s.
But of those nearly 400 deer getting processed, 45 of them have been donated to Feed My People Food Bank to help local families in need.
“It ebbs and flows with the deer hunt, you know how well the hunt is,” said Suzanne Becker, the assistant director at Feed My People.
In order to participate, all the hunters have to do is provide their DNR customer number, the registration number and drop it off at a participating processing company.
“It’s a good feeling, I hope somebody enjoys it,” said Tony Weisenbeck, a hunter who donated a deer.
With an average size deer, that’s nearly $200 worth of venison heading to those in need, for just one deer donated.
“Meat is one of our most difficult items to have consistently and it’s expensive but so important so this is just another wonderful source of having that meat for folks,” Becker added.
During this season of giving, deer donations have not been any exception this year.
“We saw a decrease the last two years, but this is definitely been an uptick this year,” Seipel said.
Even though the 2018 hunting season is over, it ended with a bang for local food pantries.
“Hunting is a sport and it is fun, but it is a lot of work, there is prep time, there is cost involved in harvesting an animal so that people give that way is great,” Seipel added.